Following the unfortunate cancellation of the 2020 Conservation Awards due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Insurance Corporation are once again preparing to put conservation back into the heart of the Channel Island community through the 2021 Awards.
Launched in 1990 by company Founder, Peter Walpole, with the ambition of sustaining and protecting the Channel Islands and its wildlife, the Awards have become a highlight in the calendars of conservationists from all age groups and backgrounds.
With a top prize fund of £2,500, the diverse range of awards have provided more than £100,000 of funding over the span of three decades, helping to support the ongoing development of a variety of exciting projects and in turn benefitting the environmental health of the Islands whilst educating the local population.
As a direct response to the existing lockdown in the Channel Islands, Insurance Corporation are hoping to inspire islanders to get involved and respond to their new Lockdown Award. This award has been added into the established categories in the hope of encouraging entrants from all age groups, but especially teachers, parents and students who are looking to get outside and foster positive mental health through educational projects.
Whether it’s through introducing native flower patches from old seed collections or creating wildlife friendly garden sanctuaries, entrants are encouraged to be creative, whilst staying safe within their own gardens at home and using plants and materials that they have to hand.
The Awards have continued to grow in popularity and have consistently welcomed entries from a variety of areas including schools, youth groups, corporate organisations, professionals from the likes of Durrell Wildlife and many more.
Managing Director, Mark Marshall has every intention of ensuring Insurance Corporation continue on this amazing journey, and expects to see some exciting developments to mark the 31st chapter in 2021:
“The Conservation Awards mean a lot to us as a business due to the fact we live and work in these Islands and care about them. They really act as an opportunity for us to give something back, no matter how small, and to create some further interest in the things that matter to all of us, the environment.
“Coming into its 31st year we really want to celebrate the great initiatives that the Islanders are so passionate about. The event will be bigger than ever and we hope it will continue to have such a positive impact on the local community as it has in the past”.
All projects are subject to a rigorous judging process based on a number of key criteria that Insurance Corporation specify, before a judging panel of Insurance Corporation team members and experienced conservationists from the Island communities then visit to meet project team leaders.
Success levels over the last 30 years have been so high that funding for the main Awards will be increased in 2021, with the addition of new categories.
Awards categories for 2021 are as follows:
- The Best Conservation Project – £2,500
- Runner-up – up to £1,500
- Peter Walpole People’s Choice Award – £500 (voted for by the public) Young Conservationist of the Year Award – prize depends on size and scope of the project
- Best Youth Group/Education Award – £500
- Unsung Conservation Hero Award – up to £250
- NEW! Lockdown Conservation Award
‘SCOOP’ The Sustainable Cooperative Ltd won the 2019 top prize in Jersey, using the £2000 prize fund to invest back into their ‘Re-wild my plate’ educational event.
Mark added: “The award enables us to develop ‘Re-wild my plate’ and share our vision for the future of food in Jersey. ‘Re-wild my plate’ aims to help people understand how the food we eat affects the environment and how our eating habits can increase biodiversity and protect our natural resources. We want to teach people how to use their diets as a practical conservation tool”.
Vanessa Crispini, a previous judge has witnessed the impact of the Awards over recent years: “As the only consistent conservation awards in Guernsey over the last 30 years, the impact of the Insurance Corporation Conservation Awards has been hugely significant. For individuals and small organisations looking to access funding to make a positive difference to wildlife in the Channel Islands, the Awards are a shining beacon.”
In light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on inter island travel which may impact judging, project leaders will be required to submit videos as part of their entries to the Awards. Guidelines will be included in the official entry form.
Judging will take place on Wednesday 26th May
The Insurance Corporation Conservation Awards culminates with the winners being announced at a lunchtime ceremony for all the shortlisted entrants on Tuesday 29th June.
Judging will take place on Wednesday 19th May.
The Insurance Corporation Conservation Awards culminates with the winners being announced at a lunchtime ceremony for all the shortlisted entrants on Wednesday 16th June.